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View Full Version : Taobao here we come !



tieguanyin
07-09-2010, 08:10 AM
For folks who are interested in a group buy on Taobao using Taobao Focus (test piloted by Dr. Hobbes), please identify yourself here. More information will be coming soon :biggrin:!

thanks
07-09-2010, 08:26 AM
I would be in, but would prefer if funds were exchanged a week from now.

tieguanyin
07-09-2010, 08:37 AM
I would be in, but would prefer if funds were exchanged a week from now.

Argblech and myself have only barely started discussing this. We are not planning on pulling the trigger on this immediately (say like this weekend or within the next week). Hobbes actually suggested we not rush.

Shogun89
07-09-2010, 10:27 AM
I am most definitely in! :thumbup::thumbup:

arghblech
07-09-2010, 12:50 PM
We are discussing how best to do this.

What we don't want is a free for all where everyone gives us a list. I'm open to this later but we'd like something simple to start.

My suggestion was that we (we == those participating) agree on 3 or 4 teas and order enough so that we each get a cake of each tea.

tieguanyin
07-09-2010, 01:24 PM
To follow up on argblech's comment, below is a list of teas and vendors Hobbes has previously ordered from and liked the results. To play it safe, we will be placing an order for teas from the below list. Please send me a PM with your home email address. We will be polling you via email to sort out which three to four teas we will be ordering.




My test purchases for your reference, all of which look and smell to be the real thing:

i.
2001 Dingxing - $30 (was double or triple this at Essence of Tea)
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=2390561266

I enjoyed this from Essence of Tea, and MarshalN recently reviewed it positively. Almost a decade old for $30, and tasty too? I am helpless before such bargains.


ii.
2003 Quanji Bulang (a.k.a. "Male Urine") - $26
http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-0db1-3d64f54074e9c8b90b420f5e1cec67da.htm

A delicious cake that has been doing the rounds for some years - my thoughts here (http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2007/07/2003-quanji-bulang.html). $26 for this would require brain surgery not to purchase.



iii.
2006 Yongpinhao Yiwu - $10 (!)
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4810706353
Solid and reliable, the YPH cakes are usually cheap but very cheerful. For RMB65, it's a crime not to buy it.


iv.
2003 Manluo Yiwu - $25
http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-0db1-1fb4a771d6e60b5b9c9b0360869e6cd8.jhtml

My old favourite from Maliandao, with which I am stocking up. My notes here (http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2007/10/2003-manluo-yiwu-zhengshan.html). Ask yourself what you can buy from Western vendors for $25. A beautiful cake, now seven years old? Stunning.


v.
2004 Yiwu Mahei - $19
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=4715395966&ad_id=&am_id=&cm_id=&pm_id=

Recommended by MarshalN - I've not tried it yet, but it looks and smells decent.


vi.
2005 Dayi "Zaochun 501" Tuocha - $13
http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-0db1-dcd0a1599608cf65f03b89de5d00da29.jhtml?cm_cat=5000 3862

My old warrior (notes here (http://half-dipper.blogspot.com/2009/08/2005-menghai-dayi-zaochun-501.html)). Most people are not entirely thrilled by Dayi - they're more stalwarts for reliable aging (pre-2006 vintage for preference, no idea about 2006+ vintages), but this tuocha is darned good. So woody and potent. I have tubes of this stuff.

What's not to like?


Toodlepip,

Hobbes


He also suggested to us the following:


2006 Xingshunxiang "Yiwu": http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-0db1-da0315b04e6343aeffa290e6c9f1b188.jhtml?cm_cat=5000 3862

2005 7542: http://item.taobao.com/auction/item_detail-0db2-4252748379e70876c34382559766d249.htm

Happy reviewing :w00t:!

TGY

PS: This group buy is targeted for B&B folks living in the United States.

Hobbesoxon
07-09-2010, 02:37 PM
(iii) YPH was not good, but the rest are all thoroughly worthwhile :)

Bonne chance!

Shogun89
07-09-2010, 02:58 PM
I'm liking the looks of i, iv and v. especially liking iv. :tongue_sm

Hobbesoxon
07-10-2010, 12:57 AM
It looks as if (vi) has sold out recently, and so in order of excellence:

Tied at first place:
(i) 2001 Dingxing, (iv) 2003 Manluo

then:
(v) 2004 Xingshunxiang "Yiwu Mahei" (with the red old-fashioned "cha" character in the middle)
(ii) 2003 Quanji Bulang

then, the other recommendation mentioned by TGY:
2006 Xingshunxiang "Yiwu" (with the map of Xishuangbanna on the wrapper)

and probably ignore:
(iii) 2006 YPH "Yiwu"

tieguanyin
07-10-2010, 07:38 AM
We are on hold until we get mod approval for this activity.

Carlin
07-11-2010, 10:59 AM
When y'all decide on something, can you post it with approx. cost?

Heatwaves
07-11-2010, 07:16 PM
When y'all decide on something, can you post it with approx. cost?

My assumption is that we will choose cakes based upon the prices noted above and then a shipping quote can be provided when all of the quantities are known.

Erik
07-11-2010, 07:30 PM
My assumption is that we will choose cakes based upon the prices noted above and then a shipping quote can be provided when all of the quantities are known.

Don't jump the gun. Tea prices and currency exchange rates are subject to constant change.

arghblech
07-11-2010, 11:09 PM
I did some back of the envelope on Friday using the four cakes I voted for and it looked to be $120 to $130 per participant to get them to the US. There would be additional fees once the bundle is broken up. Those numbers aren't hard and fast... a lot can change before the order and I could have forgotten a fee or something.

Maybe we the interested parties should send TGY some indication of what price point they require to participate.

Hobbesoxon
07-12-2010, 01:46 AM
I did some back of the envelope on Friday using the four cakes I voted for and it looked to be $120 to $130 per participant to get them to the US. There would be additional fees once the bundle is broken up. Those numbers aren't hard and fast... a lot can change before the order and I could have forgotten a fee or something.

Maybe we the interested parties should send TGY some indication of what price point they require to participate.

With Taobaofocus, the costs are usually:

Stage 1 costs
1a Cost of the cake
1b Cost of the intra-China post from sellor to handler (typically RMB15 / vendor)
1c Handling fee, which is 10% of 1a

Stage 2 costs
Postage from China to your location (recommend Airmail, the cheapest, 1-2 weeks)

(Note that Taobaofocus offers the facility to send an order to multiple addresses, which is what I did for our previous B&B group buy when we used Taobaonow.com. If you don't use this, then you need:)

Stage 3 costs
Postage from your location to each of the group-buyers' locations, by local mail

This latter gets quite expensive, and we saved a lot of money by having the handler deliver to individual locations in stage 2.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

tieguanyin
07-12-2010, 08:06 AM
I did some back of the envelope on Friday using the four cakes I voted for and it looked to be $120 to $130 per participant to get them to the US. There would be additional fees once the bundle is broken up. Those numbers aren't hard and fast... a lot can change before the order and I could have forgotten a fee or something.

Maybe we the interested parties should send TGY some indication of what price point they require to participate.


I was also doing some quick tallying on Friday. Argblech's figures are in the ballpark.

Still waiting for mod approval for the group buy.

Hobbesoxon
07-12-2010, 08:42 AM
I was also doing some quick tallying on Friday. Argblech's figures are in the ballpark.

Still waiting for mod approval for the group buy.

Forgive my ignorance, and my curiosity, but what interest would forum moderators have in a group purchase of tea from random vendors? The previous group purchase was coordinated by e-mail.


Best wishes,

Hobbes

tieguanyin
07-12-2010, 09:26 AM
Forgive my ignorance, and my curiosity, but what interest would forum moderators have in a group purchase of tea from random vendors? The previous group purchase was coordinated by e-mail.


Best wishes,

Hobbes

My co-conspirator in this effort, Argblech, mentioned to me that somewhere there is a requirement to get mod approval before engaging in a group buy. I am fairly new to B&B so I trust his judgment on this.

Since our hope is to share information on how this experience goes on B&B, we wish to be in good standing with the mods. If anyone else has information on this, please share it with us!

Hobbesoxon
07-12-2010, 10:25 AM
Well, I suppose one does have to obey the rules... :ihih:


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Carlin
07-12-2010, 12:48 PM
Good luck on the group buy, but funds have been short this month and I"ll have to be counted out =/

arghblech
07-12-2010, 01:50 PM
Just a note: One of the things that I'm hoping to accomplish here is to prove to myself and you folks that this TaoBao thing can work for us. A proof-of-concept for the skeptic (myself for instance). Hopefully, after this group buy, we'll all be more comfortable trying to use these TaoBao middleman companies to get better and less costly tea.

If this group buy seems like a bad idea then speak up, please! I'll probably be placing an order for myself regardless. I don't want to pressure anyone into spending more than they'd like but I can't think of another way to do this that is better. Ideas are being accepted :001_smile

Scotto
07-12-2010, 02:53 PM
Depending on the details, I'd be interested.

I was out for a few days, so sorry about the delay in getting back to you - go for it.

Hobbesoxon
07-12-2010, 03:02 PM
I made a joke about not wanting to buy from a vendor whose translated name may mean "My heart will always goes on" - I then had a very kind e-mail from a Guangzhou-bsaed friend who mentioned that this vendor is on the "black-list" in Guaagzhou for selling dodgy Zhongcha. I was just about to buy a tong of the 2001 Dingxing from them, so it was timely advice. It just goes to show, Celine Dion / Titanic is the kiss of death. Something for us all to learn.

I've looked at other sources for this cake, and there are many (http://s.taobao.com/search?q=%B6%A6%D0%CB&commend=all&ssid=s1-e&bcoffset=1&cat=50035152&from=compass&navlog=compass-1-c-50035152) - they're all about 260 RMB, instead of the original 190 RMB. This is probably healthy, indicating that the market price is actually a bit higher.

However, this does mean that I will be making a test order of a single 2001 Dingxing cake from one of the other vendors, in order to verify the quality of the goods before buying a tong myself.

So, you might want to take the above under advisement. Note that the 2001 Dingxing I had from "999 Woxin" was great. However, I think it wise not to risk a whole tong from a vendor that has been mentioned as potentially dodgy.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Shogun89
07-12-2010, 03:10 PM
Just a note: One of the things that I'm hoping to accomplish here is to prove to myself and you folks that this TaoBao thing can work for us. A proof-of-concept for the skeptic (myself for instance). Hopefully, after this group buy, we'll all be more comfortable trying to use these TaoBao middleman companies to get better and less costly tea.

If this group buy seems like a bad idea then speak up, please! I'll probably be placing an order for myself regardless. I don't want to pressure anyone into spending more than they'd like but I can't think of another way to do this that is better. Ideas are being accepted :001_smile

I agree with this, I am highly interested because it would make for a nice "stepping stone" to move out into the bigger market. Taobao will give us better tea at better prices. The thing is I'm off to college shortly so time is of the essence. Im not trying to rush anyone here by any means, considering I can wait another week or so. However if it does fall through I would like to know sooner rather then later as I will need to make my own purchase.

tieguanyin
07-12-2010, 03:26 PM
I made a joke about not wanting to buy from a vendor whose translated name may mean "My heart will always goes on" - I then had a very kind e-mail from a Guangzhou-bsaed friend who mentioned that this vendor is on the "black-list" in Guaagzhou for selling dodgy Zhongcha. I was just about to buy a tong of the 2001 Dingxing from them, so it was timely advice. It just goes to show, Celine Dion / Titanic is the kiss of death. Something for us all to learn.

I've looked at other sources for this cake, and there are many (http://s.taobao.com/search?q=%B6%A6%D0%CB&commend=all&ssid=s1-e&bcoffset=1&cat=50035152&from=compass&navlog=compass-1-c-50035152) - they're all about 260 RMB, instead of the original 190 RMB. This is probably healthy, indicating that the market price is actually a bit higher.

However, this does mean that I will be making a test order of a single 2001 Dingxing cake from one of the other vendors, in order to verify the quality of the goods before buying a tong myself.

So, you might want to take the above under advisement. Note that the 2001 Dingxing I had from "999 Woxin" was great. However, I think it wise not to risk a whole tong from a vendor that has been mentioned as potentially dodgy.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Thanks for the head's up. We may have to adjust the selection accordingly. That does sound like a situation ripe for a bait and switch - awesome single cake / sub-par tong :mad3:!

PS: will have to mention to my SWMBO about the mutually exclusive qualities of Titanic and Taobao :lol:!

grasshopper
07-12-2010, 03:48 PM
[Hobbes] I then had a very kind e-mail from a Guangzhou-bsaed friend who mentioned that this vendor is on the "black-list" in Guaagzhou for selling dodgy Zhongcha.\

[grasshopper] Hobbes--to clarify for myself--Is the vendor black-listed in Guangzhou the same as the vendor (999 Wo Xin Yijiu) who sent you the cake you praised in the earlier post? Based on your praise, I ordered some '01 DingXing cakes through TaobaoNow (an agent you employed). This becomes a real nail-biter. ~grasshopper

Sp1key
07-12-2010, 10:34 PM
I made a joke about not wanting to buy from a vendor whose translated name may mean "My heart will always goes on" - I then had a very kind e-mail from a Guangzhou-bsaed friend who mentioned that this vendor is on the "black-list" in Guaagzhou for selling dodgy Zhongcha.

When in to have a peak, this is in fact a fake version of the 98 menghai wild arbor http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=2516538434

I do have an old post of some pics for reference.
http://puerhcollection.blogspot.com/2009/07/tong-of-7-thick-sheng-cake.html

Hobbesoxon
07-13-2010, 12:39 AM
Hobbes--to clarify for myself--Is the vendor black-listed in Guangzhou the same as the vendor (999 Wo Xin Yijiu) who sent you the cake you praised in the earlier post? Based on your praise, I ordered some '01 DingXing cakes through TaobaoNow (an agent you employed). This becomes a real nail-biter. ~grasshopper

Dear 'Hopper,

Yes, that's the vendor in question. MarshalN also ordered his 2001 Dingxing cakes from 999 Wo Xin Yijiu (which is where I obtained the original recommendation), and had the same good results that I did. I don't think it's cause for concern, to be honest. In fact, I woke up just now considering that it might be worth my while to buy a tong at 190 RMB (@ 1330 RMB / tong) from 999 Wo Xin Yijiu, rather than a tong from elsewhere at 260 RMB (@ 1820 RMB / tong). It's a risk vs. reward trade-off! I'll ponder it a little more. It's nice to save 500 RMB on a tong, and the cakes we've had so far seem very good... :ihih:



When in to have a peak, this is in fact a fake version of the 98 menghai wild arbor http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=2516538434

I do have an old post of some pics for reference.
http://puerhcollection.blogspot.com/2009/07/tong-of-7-thick-sheng-cake.html

Monsieur, very interesting. Is there something in the 999 Wo Xin Yijiu product listing that indicates its fake status to you? I must admit that their product looked rather like that which you were discussing on your blog! The price is rather alarming, however, being RMB 190 for a supposed 1998 cake.

P.s. Did you enjoy the tea? I might have to perform a Taobao search for it, if so.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Hobbesoxon
07-13-2010, 12:41 AM
PS: will have to mention to my SWMBO about the mutually exclusive qualities of Titanic and Taobao :lol:!

We have a distinct "No Celine Dion / Titanic" rule in our house. It makes for one step closer to marital bliss. On the downside, I had to give up asking SWMBO to sit through Shakespeare productions and Alien vs. Predator*, but it was a worthy sacrifice.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

*I remain convinced that Alien vs. Predator is the long-lost final play by Shakespeare, adapted for the big screen.

apache
07-13-2010, 01:14 AM
When in to have a peak, this is in fact a fake version of the 98 menghai wild arbor http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=2516538434

I do have an old post of some pics for reference.
http://puerhcollection.blogspot.com/2009/07/tong-of-7-thick-sheng-cake.html

I just did a quick search, in fact there are lot in TB:
http://search.taobao.com/search?cat=50003862&commend=all&q=%D6%D0%B2%E8%D2%B0%C9%FA%C7%C7%C4%BE&source=search1

and the price vary a lot!

Buying from TB is always risky, but the reward can be great as well.

Sp1key
07-13-2010, 03:08 AM
Monsieur, very interesting. Is there something in the 999 Wo Xin Yijiu product listing that indicates its fake status to you? I must admit that their product looked rather like that which you were discussing on your blog! The price is rather alarming, however, being RMB 190 for a supposed 1998 cake.

P.s. Did you enjoy the tea? I might have to perform a Taobao search for it, if so.

Toodlepip,

Hobbes

After going through briefly, it seems that some vendors have fake and real items listed altogether so it might or might not be that all their items are fake.
As for this tea, I'll send you some to try next time. Don't bother with taobao for this tea. (refer below)


I just did a quick search, in fact there are lot in TB:
http://search.taobao.com/search?cat=50003862&commend=all&q=%D6%D0%B2%E8%D2%B0%C9%FA%C7%C7%C4%BE&source=search1

and the price vary a lot!

Buying from TB is always risky, but the reward can be great as well.

Just browsing through those pics, all of them listed in the link above are not authentic. The same for this piece @ rmb1580 http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=53131171

In any case for any tea, I think the best would be to try a cake first before getting more of them. So at least you know if you like it or otherwise which is the most important anyway.

Hobbesoxon
07-13-2010, 03:17 AM
After going through briefly, it seems that some vendors have fake and real items listed altogether so it might or might not be that all their items are fake.
As for this tea, I'll send you some to try next time. Don't bother with taobao for this tea. (refer below)

Most kind - that's a lot of dodgy tea to navigate through! I try to avoid buying old cakes from Taobao for precisely this reason.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Sp1key
07-13-2010, 03:25 AM
Most kind - that's a lot of dodgy tea to navigate through! I try to avoid buying old cakes from Taobao for precisely this reason.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Good advice, Thats a fair strat! I've a friend who got something different from whats being listed. Same cake but different piece from the one pictured which turned out to be either a fake or a badly stored bad tea.
Lucky for him, refund was given if you leave a 'thumbs up' feedback :cursing:

gimpochin
07-13-2010, 04:10 AM
i have lived in s.e.asia for a while and drink alot of tea,IMHO,
You may want to contact Scott Wilson who run's "Yunnan Sourcing".He's been in China a long time and know's good product.:drool:

Hobbesoxon
07-13-2010, 04:40 AM
i have lived in s.e.asia for a while and drink alot of tea,IMHO,
You may want to contact Scott Wilson who run's "Yunnan Sourcing".He's been in China a long time and know's good product.:drool:

I'm embarrassed to admit that I've given Yunnan Sourcing several thousand GBP since 2005 - his store is a favourite among Western drinkers :)

Taobao satisfies a slightly different need to that catered for by YS, I would say. There's room for both. That said, I tend to only buy the YS-specific cakes (Ruicaoxiang, etc.) from YS these days, and get the rest from Taobao or from friends.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

apache
07-13-2010, 06:41 AM
After going through briefly, it seems that some vendors have fake and real items listed altogether so it might or might not be that all their items are fake.
As for this tea, I'll send you some to try next time. Don't bother with taobao for this tea. (refer below)



Just browsing through those pics, all of them listed in the link above are not authentic. The same for this piece @ rmb1580 http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=53131171




Oh, my word!

Well, for expensive aged stuff, may be better get it from Nada, however, I notice he has just removed the Dingxing from his Web site.

apache
07-13-2010, 06:51 AM
I'm embarrassed to admit that I've given Yunnan Sourcing several thousand GBP since 2005 - his store is a favourite among Western drinkers :)

Taobao satisfies a slightly different need to that catered for by YS, I would say. There's room for both. That said, I tend to only buy the YS-specific cakes (Ruicaoxiang, etc.) from YS these days, and get the rest from Taobao or from friends.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

SEVERAL THOUSAND GBP !!!.:w00t: The donation I gave to YS pale into insignificant!

Hobbesoxon
07-13-2010, 07:19 AM
SEVERAL THOUSAND GBP !!!.:w00t: The donation I gave to YS pale into insignificant!

That's over five years, though - not too much per annum :ihih:

These days, it mostly goes to friends kind enough to buy locally on my behalf, or from Taobao, or from the annual trip to Maliandao.

You should come back to Oxford for a session sometime! It would be great to see you again :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

apache
07-13-2010, 08:40 AM
That's over five years, though - not too much per annum :ihih:

These days, it mostly goes to friends kind enough to buy locally on my behalf, or from Taobao, or from the annual trip to Maliandao.

You should come back to Oxford for a session sometime! It would be great to see you again :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Thank you very much for the invitation, will send you an email to arrange the time when some stuff I ordered from HK arrive. I will bring it along see what you think of it.

Hobbesoxon
07-13-2010, 08:49 AM
Thank you very much for the invitation, will send you an email to arrange the time when some stuff I ordered from HK arrive. I will bring it along see what you think of it.

Great! Our house is a bit of a warzone at the moment, but we have the tea-table in action :)


See you soon,

Hobbes

Maitre_Tea
07-13-2010, 11:17 AM
Just a note: One of the things that I'm hoping to accomplish here is to prove to myself and you folks that this TaoBao thing can work for us. A proof-of-concept for the skeptic (myself for instance). Hopefully, after this group buy, we'll all be more comfortable trying to use these TaoBao middleman companies to get better and less costly tea.

If this group buy seems like a bad idea then speak up, please! I'll probably be placing an order for myself regardless. I don't want to pressure anyone into spending more than they'd like but I can't think of another way to do this that is better. Ideas are being accepted :001_smile

Having bought from Tao Bao on a few occasions, there are good values to be had; however, as recent posts have shown, there are some risks. Also, our preferences for tea are highly subjective. In regards to the Ding Xing (I've only tried the Nada version), I personally thought it had good flavors but was a bit lacking in mouth feel and felt a bit thin. Might be good for somebody who wants to drink now, but may not have the oomph to age well (IMO).

If you don't mind spending a bit more money, but perhaps having greater peace of mind about the choices you make, you guys can do a group buy of single cakes and the cake can be split up. That way you can do an accurate vote on what you like about the tea, and not vote based on how pretty the colors on the label are.

arghblech
07-13-2010, 12:55 PM
That way you can do an accurate vote on what you like about the tea, and not vote based on how pretty the colors on the label are.

There are links to Hobbes' reviews of the teas. Many, if not most, of us follow his blog and can use his reviews as measuring stick. WTF other criteria can I, who doesn't read any Mandarin and doesn't have the funds to pay a fortune for this tea from Nada, possibly use to make a purchase? All I can read on the Taobao page is the arabic numerals and a couple of characters. I seriously resent you implying that we are selecting based solely on "how pretty the colors on the label are."

It isn't like we are forcing folks to participate, either. I think it's pretty clear to everyone that neither TGY or myself have tasted a single drop of these teas before. It isn't even about sharing the risk because I'm going to purchase some cakes for myself even if everyone else backs out.

If you have any helpful input on how to select cakes for a group buy I'm all ears.

Hobbesoxon
07-13-2010, 01:14 PM
In regards to the Ding Xing (I've only tried the Nada version), I personally thought it had good flavors but was a bit lacking in mouth feel and felt a bit thin. Might be good for somebody who wants to drink now, but may not have the oomph to age well (IMO).

I'm always fascinated how different one tea can seem to different people!

The Dingxing is one of the few 10yo cakes I've tried lately that really has endurance and staying power - it went on for well over twenty infusions, tasting very solid throughout. In fact, I got tired and full well before the tea gave up, in both sessions I tried it! Few teas manage this, in my experience - the "cheaper" or "more processed / more mainstream" cakes are usually empty and dead by ten infusions at the most, especially if they're as old as this Dingxing.

Not only was it very solid in character, which I find to be one of the prime indicators of being a good candidate for aging, I found it to be surprisingly varied, too - it had floral hints at the back, a solid woodiness, and an enduring sweetness. Again, such complexity is a second (possibly subsidiary) factor in what I look for in a good aging candidate, after the aforementioned potency.

I managed all this without even using a particularly large quantity of leaves, indicative of the fact that the leaf has a good amount of content. More processed teas, as well as dying young (prior to ten infusions), typically require more leaf in order to maintain power.

I agree with Nada's description at Essence of Tea (Google Cache version here (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:pZU6r0WgjVsJ:www.essenceoftea.co.uk/2001-Dingxin-Yiwu.html+essence+of+tea+dingxin&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a)).

Hence, my amazement at the subjectivity of tea. It's as if you and I have been drinking two entirely different cakes. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

tieguanyin
07-13-2010, 01:26 PM
I'm always fascinated how different one tea can seem to different people!

Hence, my amazement at the subjectivity of tea. It's as if you and I have been drinking two entirely different cakes. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Should a sample be sent to Scotto for a final judgement on this one :ihih:? Just kidding!

apache
07-13-2010, 01:56 PM
... , who doesn't read any Mandarin ... All I can read on the Taobao page is the arabic numerals and a couple of characters ...

I would say even able to read the Chinese text, it really doesn't help to tell the difference between a good and a bad cakes, to choose genuine tea from fake one, to distinguish the truth from seller propaganda and informercial.

The only advantages is in doing the search.

Maitre_Tea
07-13-2010, 02:44 PM
There are links to Hobbes' reviews of the teas. Many, if not most, of us follow his blog and can use his reviews as measuring stick. WTF other criteria can I, who doesn't read any Mandarin and doesn't have the funds to pay a fortune for this tea from Nada, possibly use to make a purchase? All I can read on the Taobao page is the arabic numerals and a couple of characters. I seriously resent you implying that we are selecting based solely on "how pretty the colors on the label are."

It isn't like we are forcing folks to participate, either. I think it's pretty clear to everyone that neither TGY or myself have tasted a single drop of these teas before. It isn't even about sharing the risk because I'm going to purchase some cakes for myself even if everyone else backs out.

If you have any helpful input on how to select cakes for a group buy I'm all ears.

I apologize if I was implying that you can't choose cakes. My suggestion for ordering single cakes first is to see which cakes you think are particularly good enough to warrant multiple (perhaps tong-level) cake purchases. That way you can possibly negotiate for a quantity discount.

Maitre_Tea
07-13-2010, 02:47 PM
I'm always fascinated how different one tea can seem to different people!

The Dingxing is one of the few 10yo cakes I've tried lately that really has endurance and staying power - it went on for well over twenty infusions, tasting very solid throughout. In fact, I got tired and full well before the tea gave up, in both sessions I tried it! Few teas manage this, in my experience - the "cheaper" or "more processed / more mainstream" cakes are usually empty and dead by ten infusions at the most, especially if they're as old as this Dingxing.

Not only was it very solid in character, which I find to be one of the prime indicators of being a good candidate for aging, I found it to be surprisingly varied, too - it had floral hints at the back, a solid woodiness, and an enduring sweetness. Again, such complexity is a second (possibly subsidiary) factor in what I look for in a good aging candidate, after the aforementioned potency.

I managed all this without even using a particularly large quantity of leaves, indicative of the fact that the leaf has a good amount of content. More processed teas, as well as dying young (prior to ten infusions), typically require more leaf in order to maintain power.

I agree with Nada's description at Essence of Tea (Google Cache version here (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:pZU6r0WgjVsJ:www.essenceoftea.co.uk/2001-Dingxin-Yiwu.html+essence+of+tea+dingxin&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a)).

Hence, my amazement at the subjectivity of tea. It's as if you and I have been drinking two entirely different cakes. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

Well, there are probably going to be storage differences between Nada's and 999's...so yes, we have been drinking two entirely different cakes:tongue_sm

Maitre_Tea
07-13-2010, 02:56 PM
Dear 'Hopper,

Yes, that's the vendor in question. MarshalN also ordered his 2001 Dingxing cakes from 999 Wo Xin Yijiu (which is where I obtained the original recommendation), and had the same good results that I did. I don't think it's cause for concern, to be honest. In fact, I woke up just now considering that it might be worth my while to buy a tong at 190 RMB (@ 1330 RMB / tong) from 999 Wo Xin Yijiu, rather than a tong from elsewhere at 260 RMB (@ 1820 RMB / tong). It's a risk vs. reward trade-off! I'll ponder it a little more. It's nice to save 500 RMB on a tong, and the cakes we've had so far seem very good... :ihih:




Monsieur, very interesting. Is there something in the 999 Wo Xin Yijiu product listing that indicates its fake status to you? I must admit that their product looked rather like that which you were discussing on your blog! The price is rather alarming, however, being RMB 190 for a supposed 1998 cake.

P.s. Did you enjoy the tea? I might have to perform a Taobao search for it, if so.


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

I think Hou De did an entry on this, but I believe the difference between an authentic and fake '98 Yieh Sheng is the "yun" character. I think the real McCoy is done in simplified while the fakes are done with traditional. Obviously just because it has a simplified "yun" doesn't make it 100% authentic, but it's a good way to "weed" out the obvious fakes.

tieguanyin
07-13-2010, 03:03 PM
I apologize if I was implying that you can't choose cakes. My suggestion for ordering single cakes first is to see which cakes you think are particularly good enough to warrant multiple (perhaps tong-level) cake purchases. That way you can possibly negotiate for a quantity discount.

From feedback we have received, tong discounts are rather difficult to obtain on TB. One would have to haggle using the chat feature on TB. For us mandarin challenged B&B'er, this would be rather difficult :biggrin:! Still TB seems to be a rather competitive market place so pricing of recent puerh should be within the realm of the reasonable.

Shogun89
07-13-2010, 03:05 PM
I apologize if I was implying that you can't choose cakes. My suggestion for ordering single cakes first is to see which cakes you think are particularly good enough to warrant multiple (perhaps tong-level) cake purchases. That way you can possibly negotiate for a quantity discount.

Let us not forget the noble saying in puerh tea; "A cake is a sample" :biggrin1:
No use in time, effort and shipping costs to give everyone 20g. of 4 teas to decide that we want them. And judging by Hobbes posts, I want them all.:tongue_sm

Maitre_Tea
07-13-2010, 03:10 PM
From feedback we have received, tong discounts are rather difficult to obtain on TB. One would have to haggle using the chat feature on TB. For us mandarin challenged B&B'er, this would be rather difficult :biggrin:! Still TB seems to be a rather competitive market place so pricing of recent puerh should be within the realm of the reasonable.

I've had some luck with asking Tao Bao Focus to negotiate with the vendors to get quantity discounts, when a friend and I were crunching the numbers on a particular cake.

apache
07-13-2010, 03:26 PM
I think Hou De did an entry on this, but I believe the difference between an authentic and fake '98 Yieh Sheng is the "yun" character. I think the real McCoy is done in simplified while the fakes are done with traditional. Obviously just because it has a simplified "yun" doesn't make it 100% authentic, but it's a good way to "weed" out the obvious fakes.

Well spotted, and I learn something new today.

Sp1key
07-13-2010, 08:30 PM
Well, there are probably going to be storage differences between Nada's and 999's...so yes, we have been drinking two entirely different cakes:tongue_sm

Perhaps you and hobbes should also compare the brewing parameters just to see if there are any big differences? Sometimes different ratio and brewing time could result in a different tea experience for the same tea.


I think Hou De did an entry on this, but I believe the difference between an authentic and fake '98 Yieh Sheng is the "yun" character. I think the real McCoy is done in simplified while the fakes are done with traditional. Obviously just because it has a simplified "yun" doesn't make it 100% authentic, but it's a good way to "weed" out the obvious fakes.

Yes and the nei fei is the other obvious let off :thumbup1:

Heatwaves
07-14-2010, 12:51 AM
I'm always fascinated how different one tea can seem to different people!

The Dingxing is one of the few 10yo cakes I've tried lately that really has endurance and staying power - it went on for well over twenty infusions, tasting very solid throughout. In fact, I got tired and full well before the tea gave up, in both sessions I tried it! Few teas manage this, in my experience - the "cheaper" or "more processed / more mainstream" cakes are usually empty and dead by ten infusions at the most, especially if they're as old as this Dingxing.

Not only was it very solid in character, which I find to be one of the prime indicators of being a good candidate for aging, I found it to be surprisingly varied, too - it had floral hints at the back, a solid woodiness, and an enduring sweetness. Again, such complexity is a second (possibly subsidiary) factor in what I look for in a good aging candidate, after the aforementioned potency.

I managed all this without even using a particularly large quantity of leaves, indicative of the fact that the leaf has a good amount of content. More processed teas, as well as dying young (prior to ten infusions), typically require more leaf in order to maintain power.

I agree with Nada's description at Essence of Tea (Google Cache version here (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:pZU6r0WgjVsJ:www.essenceoftea.co.uk/2001-Dingxin-Yiwu.html+essence+of+tea+dingxin&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a)).

Hence, my amazement at the subjectivity of tea. It's as if you and I have been drinking two entirely different cakes. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

I believe that it has a little to do with the tea and a lot to do with the water. I've been really impressed by a cake at my home, then prepared if for a friend many miles away. The tea was flat, thin and had no character even though I brewed it the exact same way. My guess is that my mineral-rich filtered tap water imparted a little more "oomph" to the tea, where his area had a totally different tap water low in total dissolved solids. I'd be that even if you and Maitre Tea had the exact same cake, you'd still get the same opposite results. Of course, we also all have our different preferences and tastes as well, which further complicates things a bit.

tieguanyin
07-15-2010, 12:23 PM
Thank you everyone who expressed interest in the group buy. We are no longer accepting applicants for this event. An email has been sent out to everyone who is in.

We will be sharing information and experience as we go through the process with Taobao Focus. For now, first things first, participants are in the process of voting for the teas to be included in the buy!

Thank you for everyone's feedback and input on the thread :biggrin:!

tieguanyin
07-27-2010, 03:59 PM
Group-buy has been canceled. Thanks for those who expressed interest.

jaspert
05-27-2011, 08:26 AM
such a shame it has been cancelled, i was reading up on it.

However now I want to buy in taobao on my own and find myself a good service to buyintaobao however there are many to be found.

Anyone with a decent interesting taobao agent who i can use to buy in taobao ?


What is the normal service fee? 7%? 10%? If anyone can help me that would be appreciated.

thank you

P_K
05-28-2011, 10:38 AM
such a shame it has been cancelled, i was reading up on it.

However now I want to buy in taobao on my own and find myself a good service to buyintaobao however there are many to be found.

Anyone with a decent interesting taobao agent who i can use to buy in taobao ?


What is the normal service fee? 7%? 10%? If anyone can help me that would be appreciated.

thank you

I have used taobaonow but they only use EMS for shipping, which can be expensive. Many have used taobao focus with good luck. They allow for various methods of shipping. If you need further help check MarshalN's site for more info

Part 1
http://marshaln.xanga.com/719555394/buying-tea-from-taobao-1/

Part 2
http://marshaln.xanga.com/719664579/buying-tea-from-taobao-2/

dawnguo
03-14-2012, 09:37 AM
For folks who are interested in a group buy on Taobao using Taobao Focus (test piloted by Dr. Hobbes), please identify yourself here. More information will be coming soon :biggrin:!

Group buying taobao? Great idea! Just found a new website dedicated to group buying taobao, www.wantrr.co (http://goo.gl/5RYVg)m (http://wantrr.com/?ref=wrr-bnb) sort of like tb focus, seeming in beta stage. wanna try it out and report back.

jockrobin
08-16-2012, 01:06 AM
I just did a quick search, in fact there are lot in TB:
http://search.taobao.com/search?cat=50003862&commend=all&q=%D6%D0%B2%E8%D2%B0%C9%FA%C7%C7%C4%BE&source=search1

and the price vary a lot!

Buying from TB is always risky, but the reward can be great as well.

You can also buy the tea from Taobao agent: Buychina.com as follow:

http://www.buychina.com/products?keyword=%E4%B8%AD%E8%8C%B6%E9%87%8E%E7%94 %9F%E4%B9%94%E6%9C%A8&cid=

can be paid by Visa, MasterCard and other Credit Cards.